54 episodes

Brooklyn has so many stories to tell, and a lot of them start at the library. Every other week, “Borrowed” brings you stories that start here and take you somewhere new. We're talking to people starting businesses, finding their roots, playing Dungeons & Dragons, creating community—and of course, borrowing books! Brought to you by Brooklyn Public Library.

Borrowed Brooklyn Public Library

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 118 Ratings

Brooklyn has so many stories to tell, and a lot of them start at the library. Every other week, “Borrowed” brings you stories that start here and take you somewhere new. We're talking to people starting businesses, finding their roots, playing Dungeons & Dragons, creating community—and of course, borrowing books! Brought to you by Brooklyn Public Library.

    Goodbye to All Fines

    Goodbye to All Fines

    On October 5th, 2021, all three public library systems in New York City eliminated late fines. The change was 125 years in the making, and it made us think: why did public libraries start charging late fines in the first place? And how will the library have to adapt now that we're truly free and truly for all?

    • 24 min
    Happy Birthday, BPL!

    Happy Birthday, BPL!

    In this season of Borrowed, we’ll take a look at what the library was like 125 years ago, the radical ideas that founded public libraries across the country, as well as our missteps along the way.

    • 3 min
    Building Brooklyn: We've Been Here Before

    Building Brooklyn: We've Been Here Before

    The story of Canarsie in reverse, from the racial unrest in the 1990s, to the anti-integration school boycotts in the 1960s, the community of Canarsie's Black residents in the 19th century, all the way back to Brooklyn's first residents, the Native Lenape people, who gave the neighborhood its name. 

    Episode transcript: https://www.bklynlibrary.org/podcasts/building-brooklyn-weve

    • 26 min
    Building Brooklyn: Finntown

    Building Brooklyn: Finntown

    In the early 1900s, if you walked around Sunset Park, you might have heard Finnish being spoken on the streets. That's because the neighborhood was home to the largest concentration of Finns in New York City, and though most have since gone from Brooklyn, they left behind their co-operative spirit. The Finns built the first non-profit co-operative apartment buildings in the nation, many of which are still standing today.
    Shownotes here: https://www.bklynlibrary.org/podcasts/building-brooklyn

    • 18 min
    Building Brooklyn: Eighth Avenue

    Building Brooklyn: Eighth Avenue

    Brooklyn is constantly changing. This episode takes a look at the changes on just one street in one neighborhood: Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park, which many call Brooklyn's Chinatown. In the early 1990s, BPL and the Museum of Chinese in America collected oral histories about Sunset Park. We dive back into that archive, with help from Professor Tarry Hum, urban planner and former Sunset Parker.

    • 27 min
    Building Brooklyn: Women on the Waterfront

    Building Brooklyn: Women on the Waterfront

    At the start of World War II, 200 women were employed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. That number ballooned to 7,000 at the height of the war, but afterward—women workers were gone as rapidly as they appeared. We use oral histories from women who worked at the yard during the war, and an interview with author Jennifer Egan, who used the collection as research for her award-winning novel, Manhattan Beach.
    Episode transcript: https://www.bklynlibrary.org/podcasts/building-brooklyn-women

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
118 Ratings

118 Ratings

Blizzzzzard ,

An endlessly fascinating burrough

Well done! For me, everything that a binge- able podcast should be. This is an extraordinary oral history of an iconic and storied city that has been completely shaped by waves of immigrants. Who better to deliver the goods then local librarians? Many fascinating episodes from America’s front door..

BostonLovesBorrowed ,

Fantastic storytelling!

I don’t even live in Brooklyn but I still love this podcast so much - the range of stories that all happen to start at the library is incredible and I learn something new about books, Brooklyn, and myself every episode!

Ms. DeRosia ,

Librarians are the coolest people!

Librarians are the best podcasters. They know how to do research and have all the connections. You go girls!

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